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One spouse up, one down: ILI (Influenza Like Illness). I was the spouse up earlier in the week, now I am the spouse down. All in all, we have done a fabulous job timing our horrid-feeling moments. We had two big tasks this week: getting the hot water heater replaced on Friday and getting me to a specialty clinic at the University of Utah Medical School on Thursday. We have now accomplished both.

On Thursday we flew to Salt Lake City so I could go to the doctor. My spouse seemed to be recovering pretty well and when we left we thought it was gong to be an upswing day. I would get a specialist opinion on a muscle problem we have been fussing with and spouse was perking up. We would each earn the first of this year’s frequent flyer miles on the flight down and back. Indeed a good day was in store.

It started with a late plane. We were fine on time so we were not worried. We waited confidently knowing our little airport is staffed by top-notch people and we were in good hands. After a bit one of the staff came into the waiting area and told us what was happening. The refueling truck could not get the fuel into the tank because it was so cold that it kept freezing up. The de-icing that was set up was good only to 9 below zero and it was 12 below. We were happy to wait inside the warm terminal until they could get that one sorted.

We made it to the Salt Lake in good time and I think everyone probably made their connections. Those of us who did not have tight connections were happy to help those that did by staying in our seats until they could unload and even handing luggage and coats passenger to passenger like a human conveyer belt to help those on the run make better time.

We stopped by the Delta Sky Club to regroup before going to get the rental car. It was there that I realized that I had forgotten to cancel the hotel reservation since we were not sure if we were going to spend the night. I went online and discovered that the hotel reservation I wanted to cancel for that night was for the night before. I could have been sleeping in the bed that I was paying for, I could have used their hot water. They were very kind and refunded our money knowing that the hospital with hotel reservations could get messed up.

We got the rental car. We made it to the Medical School area and then it sort of fell apart. The directions said turn on Medical Drive. Makes sense. But what they did not say was whether to turn on South Medical Drive or North Medical Drive. When we ended up at a loading dock at the end of South Medical Drive I had a feeling we were in trouble. I finally just decided we should pull over and call. We had found the school o nursing. The folks at our clinic were very helpful and directed us right to where we belonged.

But, we turned into the wrong end of a very long parking garage.  After we got out of the car and entered the little area of elevators and stars there was nothing. Beige carpet, beige walls and a stainless steel elevator. We found a sign to the Cancer Center and it pointed down a very long beige tunnel. We circled the tiny entry a couple of rounds which was easily accomplished since you only had to take 1/2 step 4 times to get to the 4 points of a compos. Thankfully a person came in the door who had a name tag on. Bad for them good for us. “Can you help?” With a smile she replied, “Of course. Just go down that long hall toward the Cancer Center. When you get there you will be at the clinic you are looking for.” Not terribly confident that we would end up at a clinic for muscles by going to the Cancer Clinic, we proceeded. After walking what seemed like forever, we encountered two intense-looking men in white coats. Yes! They would know their way around here. I plucked up my courage and asked and they both smiled and pointed the direction we were going and said, “Just around that corner on the right. You will see the glass entry doors for your clinic.”

When we got to the clinic everyone was wonderful. We were greeted at the door. We requested a mask for my spouse so he did not breath germs on anyone. Everyone was fine about that. The would come in and say, “Hello, I am Dr. So and So, I see you have a mask on so I won’t shake your hand, it is great to meet you.” It was the most normal thing in the world. As we planned for the day, I had a feeling that we might be stuck in the waiting room between appointments and tests and not be able to leave to get lunch so we had brought sandwiches we bought at the airport. As soon as the exam was over we headed toward the waiting room to be scheduled for a test to occur during the afternoon and poof the head doctor comes over and says they can do the test right then. Off we go to the next room. We were to wait a bit so after waiting a rather big bit I guessed we might have another bit to wait. It was about 1:30 pm and since we had eaten first breakfast at 4:30 am and 2nd breakfast at 9 am so were getting pretty hungry. We whipped the sandwiches out of our bags to shove the in before anyone could see and someone did see us there in the clinic testing room eating sandwiches. Rather than be upset they said, “Would you like some water? Perhaps some juice? We have orange, apple, and cranberry-apple.” We enjoyed the juice although not the test which involved being prodded wit needles It was accomplished with due professional swiftness so all was well.

As the Thursday progressed my spouse was looking sicker and sicker. I was feeling puny but after getting up at 4:30 am, 3 hours of being examined and 1 hour of tests I just thought it was that. At the airport when we were waiting for our flight home, I insisted my spouse call our family physician who kindly returned our call just as our flight landed. She knew to call then since she knew the flight schedules. We had a prescription waiting for us at the pharmacy. I was still upright so left my spouse, with mask, sitting in the pharmacy in the corner and dashed around and got groceries After being out of town and then my spouse getting sick, we had about  4 cans of soup and 1 tomato plus ketchup, pepper sauce and salad dressing. My cart was filled with Kleenex, juice, electrolyte replenishment drinks, chicken, and disinfectant wipes. It was armed warfare now. A Z-pack, disinfectant wipes and chicken soup, bring them on!

Well, dumb me. They came on but I went down. As I realize what was happening I brought up to our bedroom the electric tea kettle, a variety of herbal teas, an ice chest with drinks, boxes of Kleenex, disinfectant wipes for the bathroom, the tea station and each side of the bed. Cough drops and bio-hazard trash bags were distributed. We were prepared to survive overnight in anticipation of the arrival of the hot water heater on in the morning.

This morning I called the plumber and told him we could open the door with disinfectant wipes and wear masks but we understood if he did not want to come. He was happy to help out. Thankfully spouse was responding well to the Z-pack so he wobbled down and opened the door and paid for the hot water heater.

While the Thursday’s trip to the doctor did not go as anticipated, we were right, it was a good day. Friday was a good day too. At each juncture someone was kind and helpful and made our days go better, we even have a hot water heater. Now that we have it, we just have to wait until we have the energy to go take a bath.

tissues, bottles of juice and water, fireplace, gloved hands holding snow heart and feel better soon texbox of t